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when & how to cut back a big privet hedge

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I have a mature privet hedge which runs north/south and is 80 yard long. It is about 6ft wide & 8ft high. If I cut it back by about 1ft on both sides and reduce the height by 1ft, all the green growth will be cut off. Will the hedge survive? What is the best time of the year to do it? Should I only do one side at a time?



Privet is a very durable plant & you should have no problems by cutting it back by a foot even though we are at the end of August. It will grow again before winter starts & I doubt the new growth will be killed by winter frosts. Even if some is it will spring back again next year.

24 Aug, 2009


Well being me I'd remove the whole hedge! Privet is a gross feeder and will consume all the nutrient in the soil out to the point where its roots stop - at least twice as far as the hedge itself. That said you hack, oops prune, it back as far as you like and it will regrow... but wouldn't you like a nice easy to take care of fence?

24 Aug, 2009


I cut mine back quite harshly in either autumn or winter and it was fine. I probably did not take off quite as much as you are proposing at the sides, although mine was cut as much as a foot in places from its height.

If the cutting back you are proposing rids the hedge of a very great proportion of its leaves, it may not survive as it needs these for photosynthesis etc. It really depends how much you are cutting into the older wood and whether there are still a fair amount of leaves left.

As for the best time of the year - I don't think it matters. When I cut back mine it did look "twiggy" and a lot barer, although there were plenty of leaves left. It stayed like that all winter until the spring when the new growth came in. If you don't mind seeing the bare twig ends for months during the winter then from my experience it seems it can be done anytime.

24 Aug, 2009


When I removed our privet hedge a number of years ago I gained a metre of garden.

25 Aug, 2009


what about a nice rose hedge, insted of somthing that poisons every thing with in a yard of it,

26 Aug, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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